The rise, and rise again of Independents!

Behold the surge of the Independent spirit! In the heart of our local governance, a revolution is unfolding. As the dust settles, the numbers speak volumes: All 107 Councils have declared their results and the growing power of the 431 Independents is dramatic.

The ascent of Independents in the local elections of May 2nd is nothing short of breath-taking, with gains soaring to 70% beyond the current tally. The Independents, including those in Residents Associations, gained 111 seats, second only to Labour, and leaving the Conservatives reeling with a loss of 474 seats.

And it doesn’t end there. Independents and the Greens, have together snatched up 178 seats across the board, on a par with the much vaunted Labour gains. The landscape is shifting, with the national share tipping in favour of the underdogs, poised to shake up the status quo in the looming general elections. If this week’s results were extended across the country, it is predicted that Independents could well be in the driving seat.

Tremors extend to grassroots level, even in the heart of Maggie Thatcher’s home town, Grantham. After a long battle to get the right to have a Council for the town, Independents have now swept the board with 18 out of 22 members. Independents took the leadership of the District Council last year, bringing a powerful change, attracting new voices, fuelled by the fervour of public support and laying the groundwork for a bottom-up revolution.

In this brave, new world, fewer local councils can wield an outright party-political majority, with its uncomfortable external agenda. Instead, Independents are bringing a mosaic of ideologies to flourish, working together and focussed on residents. It’s a new politics of listening, of inclusivity, where the voices of the people help drive the strategies set and action taken.

Over 40 councils are already led by Independent Councillors. Leader Marianne Overton MBE said,

“Across the Country, the responsive approach of Independent-led Councils has led to much greater connection with the public and significant changes to policy to matching local needs in planning, in the way climate change is tackled, in local services, in civility, and working closely with communities to create lively, prosperous and environmentally friendly places to live. “

“Independents are changing local politics for the better. We ensure that residents are at the centre of our thoughts and actions to create a more successful future.”

“Many will be standing in the General Elections, breathing new life into Parliament.”

Marianne Overton MBE

07920 235 364

Independent Group Leader

North Kesteven District Council and member on Lincolnshire County Council

Local Government Association www.local.gov.uk

Independent Network www.independentnetwork.org.uk

The Independent Network aims to establish a clear recognisable identity for being politically “Independent”, promote Independents and help them get elected. The Network encourages more people to stand for election as Independents and to promote high standards of behaviour by elected politicians.

Independents are people who are politicians or elected to positions and who are free from the control of any political party, pressure group or whip.
The Network is registered with the Electoral Commission as a political party.

The Independent Network ran a significant programme of “Be a Councillor” training and events and mentoring over the weeks and months before the election itself.

Contacts

Cllr Karen Lucioni 07506 930 109 Nominating Officer and Admin.

Marianne Overton MBE 07920 235 364 Leader

Refs: BBC Election results, Britain Elects live updates